Pr. Fernando DURAN
Pr. Audrey MOORES
Dr. Tatiana DA ROS
Flasque, M.; Nhien, A. N. V.; Moia, D.; Barnes, P. R. F.; Sauvage, F.
Solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layers form on sensitized-TiO2 photoanodes and platinum counter electrodes when dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are subjected to an accelerated aging protocol (e.g., heating at 85 °C in the dark for 500 h). To understand how this impacts device operation, we conducted an electrochemical impedance spectroscopy study and found that the SEI induces an additional electron-transfer process from the TiO2 to the electrolyte. This is materialized by the onset of a new charge-transfer semicircle at higher frequencies, predominantly visible under bias voltages similar to and greater than the open-circuit voltage. Our results emphasize the detrimental role of SEI formation on device performance and lifetime. Additionally, nanosecond transient absorption spectroscopy showed that SEI formation reduced the rate of oxidized dye regeneration. We also found that a proportion of the photogenerated holes on the dyes were transferred to the SEI itself. A prolonged aging duration led to the electrode’s mesoporosity network being entirely clogged by the SEI, thus impeding efficient transport of the electrolyte redox couple and being responsible for a further decline in photovoltaic performances.
Bacterial lectins are nonenzymic sugar-binding proteins involved in the formation of biofilms and the onset of virulence. The weakness of individual sugar-lectin interactions is compensated by the potentially large no. of simultaneous copies of such contacts, resulting in high overall sugar-lectin affinities and marked specificities. Therapeutic compds. functionalized with sugar residues can compete with the host glycans for binding to lectins only if they are able to take advantage of this multivalent binding mechanism. Glycopeptide dendrimers, featuring treelike topologies with sugar moieties at their leaves, have already shown great promise in this regard. However, optimizing the dendrimers' amino acid sequence is necessary to match the dynamics of the lectin active sites with that of the multivalent ligands. This work combines long-time-scale coarse-grained simulations of dendrimers and lectins with a reasoned exploration of the dendrimer sequence space in an attempt to suggest sequences that could maximize multivalent binding to the galactose-specific bacterial lectin LecA. These candidates are validated by simulations of mixed dendrimer/lectin solns., and the effects of the dendrimers on lectin dynamics are discussed. This approach is an attractive first step in the conception of therapeutic compds. based on the dendrimer scaffold and contributes to the understanding of the various classes of multivalency that underpin the ubiquitous "sugar code".
Laclef, S.; Toumieux, S.; Kovensky, J.
Carbohydrates and their analogs are key molecules with a wide range of biological activities. These bioactive compounds are usually synthesized through derivatization of naturally occurring carbohydrates. Nevertheless, this strategy suffers from a limited range of naturally available monosaccharide building blocks and the necessity of laborious steps of protection and deprotection. Consequently new methods began to emerge and Diels-Alder reaction appeared to be a method of choice for their de novo production. The synthesis of carbohydrates and their analogs by means of cycloaddition reactions will be reviewed here. Moreover the potentiality of the use of monosaccharides to induce chirality in Diels-Alder reaction will be presented. Efficient methods for the synthesis of di- and tri-saccharides using the developments shown previously will be also introduced.
Lu, B.; Vayssade, M.; Miao, Y.; Chagnault, V.; Grand, E.; Wadouachi, A.; Postel, D.; Drelich, A.; Egles, C.; Pezron, I.
Surfactants derived from the biorefinery process can present interesting surface-active properties, low cytotoxicity, high biocompatibility and biodegradability. They are therefore considered as potential sustainable substitutes to currently used petroleum-based surfactants. To better understand and anticipate their performances, structure-property relationships need to be carefully investigated. For this reason, we applied a multidisciplinary approach to systematically explore the effect of subtle structural variations on both physico-chem. properties and biol. effects. Four sugar-based surfactants, each with an eight carbon alkyl chain bound to a glucose or maltose head group by an amide linkage, were synthesized and evaluated together along with two com. available std. surfactants. Physico-chem. properties including soly., Krafft point, surface-tension lowering and crit. micellar concn. (CMC) in water and biol. medium were explored. Cytotoxicity evaluation by measuring proliferation index and metabolic activity against dermal fibroblasts showed that all surfactants studied may induce cell death at low concns. (below their CMC). Results revealed significant differences in both physico-chem. properties and cytotoxic effects depending on mol. structural features, such as the position of the linkage on the sugar head-group, or the orientation of the amide linkage. Furthermore, the cytotoxic response increased with the redn. of surfactant CMC. This study underscores the relevance of a methodical and multidisciplinary approach that enables the consideration of surfactant soln. properties when applied to biol. materials. Overall, our results will contribute to a better understanding of the concomitant impact of surfactant structure at physico-chem. and biol. levels.
Agustí, R.; Cano, M. E.; Cagnoni, A. J.; Kovensky, J.; de Lederkremer, R. M.; Uhrig, M. L.
The synthesis of multivalent sialylated glycoclusters is herein addressed by a chemoenzymatic approach using the trans-sialidase of Trypanosoma cruzi (TcTS). Multivalent β-thio-galactopyranosides and β-thio-lactosides were used as acceptor substrates and 3′-sialyllactose as the sialic acid donor. High performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) was shown to be an excellent technique for the analysis of the reaction products. Different eluting conditions were optimized to allow the simultaneous resolution of the sialylated species, as well as their neutral precursors. The TcTS efficiently transferred sialyl residues to di, tri, tetra and octa β-thiogalactosides. In the case of an octavalent thiolactoside, up to six polysialylated compounds could be resolved. Preparative sialylation reactions were performed using the tetravalent and octavalent acceptor substrates. The main sialylated derivatives could be unequivocally assigned by MALDI mass spectrometry. Inhibition of the transfer to the natural substrate, N-acetyllactosamine, was also studied. The octalactoside caused 82 % inhibition of sialic acid transfer when we used equimolar concentrations of donor, acceptor and inhibitor.